Sure, your car takes care of you, but are you taking care of your car? Preventative maintenance for cars is like taking care of your body, the more you put in, the more you get out. We believe in regular car maintenance for getting the most out of our personal vehicles and think you should do the same. So, for those looking for how to take care of your car, we got you with these car maintenance tips and tricks.
CAR MAINTENANCE TIP #1 – REGULAR OIL CHANGE
Get your oil changed as recommended by your manufacturer. If you’re familiar with our blog, you know we preach the importance of regularly checking your oil. We even wrote a whole article about car fluids to check. Auto car care starts and ends with your fluids with oil being the most important. The frequency that you need to change your oil depends on variables like mileage, road conditions, and how hard you push your vehicle. So, check with your owner’s manual and keep up your oil clean by regularly checking and replacing it when needed.
Car Maintenance Tip #2 – Monitor Tire Pressure and Tread Depth
Monitor your tire pressure and tread depth to make sure you stay on the road. Eyeballing won’t always tell you the whole story. Once a month or every other fill up at the gas station, take 5 minutes and check your tire pressure. Many gas stations have air pumps that allow you to set the PSI (pressure per square inch) and will automatically stop adding air once the set PSI is reached. It’s a $1.50 a month to keep you alive. Don’t forget your spare tire in the back. That is much more of a pain but you’ll be happy you did if and when you need it.
As for tread depth, we’ve all heard of the penny test. Bridgestone has a great how-to check tread depth guide that includes a video to make it as easy as possible. This photo gives you a quick idea:
Car Maintenance Tip #3 – Tire Rotation
Sticking with the tire trend, the next preventative maintenance tip is rotating your tires. Driving conditions, including the driver, impact the wear of your tires in different ways. Snow, rain, towing, front-wheel drive, fast turns, hard brakes, etc, etc, etc, they all work your tires in a different way. Rotating your tires will help extend the life along with proper pressure. Next time you get your oil changed, make sure to ask for a tire rotation.
Car Maintenance Tip #4 – Proper Wheel Alignment and Balance
We’re not done with the wheels yet. Every other oil change, it’s a good idea to ask to have your wheels aligned and balanced. As mentioned before, the work done by your car is felt in different ways. When your car or truck is not aligned, that means the weight of the vehicle is imbalanced. One bad pothole can throw your alignment out and put unnecessary wear on your vehicle. You may notice your car drifting in one direction or another. That’s a clear sign. If that doesn’t convince you to ask for an alignment, know that bad balance and alignment lowers fuel efficiency and costs you money at the pump.
Car Maintenance Tip #5 – Replace Windshield Wipers
Chances are you don’t use your windshield wipers on a daily basis. If you have ever turned them on in a rainstorm and had bad wipers, you know how scary that can be. Over time, the rubber on the wipers will deteriorate and the solid contact you want with the windshield will break down. You’ll know your wipers need to be replaced when you start seeing smearing or streaks when you turn them on. Don’t put yourself and others in danger and get them replaced immediately.
Regular Car Maintenance
Auto car care is not rocket science. It does, however, take some education and discipline. By performing regular preventive maintenance, you will keep your vehicle running longer and more efficiently. It may even save your life. Most of these tips and tricks can be done at home in your own garage. For the trickier tips or when you don’t have time, check-in with your local mechanic for help. If you’re near Golden, CO, give us a call where we’re always happy to help.